Marlboro Team Penske Pit Notes February 24, 2003 IT'S ALL IN THE WING While it may seem that the Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyotas look the same at every track they visit on the Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCar Series circuit, there are ...
Marlboro Team Penske Pit Notes
February 24, 2003
IT'S ALL IN THE WING
While it may seem that the Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyotas look the same at every track they visit on the Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCar Series circuit, there are certain subtle, but very important differences in the way the cars are prepared during each race weekend. The primary component of the set-up that varies from track to track is the rear wing package as directed by the IRL. During the 2003 IRL season, Marlboro Team Penske will be using three types of wing configurations at the 16 tracks on which they race.
The Single Element Rear Wing
The single element wing is the basic wing package, which features the mainplane with no flaps, and is the configuration you will see during the Indianapolis 500 mile race. This configuration creates enough downforce to go fast through the turns, yet allows for enough drag to control the speed on the straightaways. The single element rear wing also allows Teams to have more flexibility because they can control the "angle of attack" or position of the wing.
The Two Element Rear Wing
The two element rear wing consists of the standard mainplane and one flap. This will be the wing configuration that Marlboro Team Penske will use the most this season. The tracks at which the two element rear wing will be employed are Homestead, Motegi, Texas, Kansas, Nashville, Michigan, Kentucky, Fontana and Chicagoland. The two element rear wing is able to limit speed at tracks with a larger turn radius and higher banking. This wing is designed to increase driver safety while maintaining control over speed. The mainplane of this wing is fixed at -2.5 degrees with the top flap having an IRL designated minimum angle. This angle may vary from one venue to another.
The Three Element Rear Wing
The final rear wing configuration is the three element rear wing. This set-up is similar to the two element, but the mainplane now has two flaps attached to it, which are stacked vertically. The three element rear wing is for tracks such as Phoenix, Pikes Peak, Richmond, St. Louis and Nazareth. This wing configuration allows for maximum downforce, which enhances the drivers' ability to achieve maximum speed through the turns. In addition, this wing allows the most competitive racing because the increased downforce improves the car's handling. However, with this improved handling comes an increase in the physical demand placed on the drivers' bodies because of the downforce. When driving on the short ovals, a driver experiences more G force on his body, therefore has to exert more physical strain than at the larger tracks. The mainplane of this wing is also fixed at -2.5 degrees. The first element to the mainplane must remain as designed with the top flap having an IRL designated minimum angle. This angle may vary from one venue to another.
MARLBORO LAP LEADER AWARD RETURNS FOR SECOND CONSECUTIVE SEASON
Philip Morris USA has announced that the Marlboro Lap Leader Award will continue for the second consecutive year as part of its sponsorship commitment in the 2003 IndyCar Series. The $182,500 program continues the successful IRL lap leader award, which started in 1997 and is designed to recognize the lap leader at each race on the IndyCar circuit, with the exception of the Indianapolis 500 where the lap leader will receive a $50,000 bonus.
The driver who leads the most laps in a race will receive a check for $7,500 that will be presented during the pre-race ceremonies at the following race. In addition, there will be a $20,000 bonus awarded to the driver who leads the most laps overall during the 2003 IRL season.
Journalists will have the opportunity to participate in the Marlboro Lap Leader Award program by entering an on-site contest to predict who will lead the most laps in a given race. Ballots will be available in the press room starting with the Toyota Indy 300 and continuing at each event (with the exception of Japan). The journalist who correctly predicts the lap leader and is closest to the number of laps led, will be awarded a Maurice Lacroix Swiss Watch. The presentation will take place in the press room after the official box score has been distributed.
MEARS NOMINATED FOR SHAV GLICK AWARD
Marlboro Team Penske Advisor Rick Mears has been nominated for the Fourth Annual Eagle One-Shav Glick Award. The award recognizes distinguished achievement in motor racing by a Californian. Craig Breedlove, Chris Pook, Don Prudhomme and Les Richter are the other nominees.
Named in honor of the longtime motorsports writer for the Los Angeles Times, the award will be presented at the April 27 NASCAR Winston Cup race at California Speedway in Fontana.
Mears is a four-time Indy 500 winner and three-time CART national champion. Breedlove, a former land-speed-record holder, was the first driver to exceed 400, 500 and 600 miles per hour. Pook founded the Long Beach Grand Prix and is currently president and CEO of CART. Prudhomme was a four-time National Hot Rod Association Funny Car champion. Richter was president of Riverside International Raceway for 23 years and is currently Vice President, Special Projects for International Speedway Corporation and he is also the Chairman of the International Race of Champions.